Thursday, 30 July 2020
Opening of Schools and Calculated Grades: Statements
On the issue of children or young students on buses, the buses are operating on the basis of the public health advice that has been given. That advice suggests that children in primary school, and older children at second level, be regarded as one single cohort. That means that the same children get on the bus every day. They will be assigned specific seats and will sit with a sibling or a child in their class. When they get on the bus, there will be hand sanitiser and wipes if needed, and PPE will be provided for the bus driver. I confirm that children under the age of 13 will not be required to wear masks on the bus and that children over 13 will. As they are a single cohort, the buses will operate as normal or as has been traditional for them. An investment of €11.3 million is being made available for any works that might need to be done on the buses, including providing PPE for the bus drivers, hand sanitiser and wipes, the cleaning of the buses once the children leave them, and so on. They will be operating in that manner on the basis of the public health advice and nothing else.